11 Holiday Budgeting Tips To Start Using Now
Since the holidays are quickly approaching, many of us are looking for the best holiday budgeting tips to save us time, stress, and money. The average American spends a bit under $1,000 on Christmas gifts alone, so it’s important to prepare financially for the season if you want to avoid having a moneyless holiday. If you are trying to set your budget for the upcoming holidays, use these tips to help you out.
Tips To Help Your Holiday Budget
1. Make Your Gift List And Stick To It
The foundation for all holiday budgeting tips is knowing what you need to buy and for whom. Make a strict holiday list of purchases you plan to buy and do not sway away. You don’t just want to make a list, you have to make sure you are following it as well. It’s easy to become convinced that you suddenly need to buy more gifts for more people or add to your shopping, which is why a strong initial list is needed.
2. Do Your Research
Before you go out to buy your items, do a little online research to compare prices. You might find that you can get the same item online for less than in-store or vice versa. Always go shopping knowing approximately how much you’re going to spend. Doing this research puts your holiday budget on the right path – which is why this is great to have on your holiday budgeting tips list.
3. Consider Group Gift Exchanges
If you have a large family or group of friends who tend to exchange presents, consider hosting a Secret Santa or White Elephant gift exchange. Everyone will end up with a present, but each person will only need to buy one gift, which can significantly cut holiday spending while still promoting a great time together.
4. Avoid Sales And Window Shopping
We all love Black Friday and holiday deals, but they often promote extra spending we didn’t have planned. Holiday budgeting tips work best if you can avoid the temptation of going window shopping or checking out the sales unless you’re going with your specific shopping list in mind. Remember, just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need it.
5. Save Up For Large Purchases
If you need to buy an expensive item – like a new laptop because yours is malfunctioning – the holidays might be a good time to get a good deal. Keeping this in mind, start saving for large purchases as early as you can, especially before the end of November. The goal is to pay for your large holiday expenses in cash whenever possible.
6. Buy Secondhand Or Create Something Homemade
Secondhand items or homemade crafts can make excellent gifts – especially when it comes to things like home décor, toys, or sentimental items. Things like tools, books, sports gear, gadgets, furniture, appliances, and even gift cards can be bought secondhand. Homemade gifts could include baked goods, photo albums, knitted items, and holiday ornaments.
7. Plan Your Holiday Travel
Another part of your holiday budgeting tips that you need to consider in your budget is holiday travel. If you haven’t already done so, make sure your holiday travel is booked and set well in advance to get the best price on your plane or train ticket possible. As one of the most expensive times of the year, you don’t want to leave anything for the last minute.
8. Download Money-Saving Apps
If you really want to save money or even get money back while shopping, downloading money-saving apps can really help you get started. There are plenty of apps that will point you to the best price, give you cash back, or provide coupons for items you plan to buy. Check out apps like Rakuten, Ibotta, Instacart, and Drop if you want money back for shopping at certain stores.
9. Review Your Annual Subscriptions
As January rolls around, some annual subscriptions are bound to renew. Even if your subscriptions don’t end in December, the end of the year is a great time to review your automatic payments and shop around for better deals for the new year. And it is also a great time to look through your subscriptions and end the ones you really aren’t using anymore.
10. Prepare Yourself For New Year Bills
The last of the holiday budgeting tips you need to follow is to make sure you are prepared for the new bills coming in. This means you have to take into account your regular expenses and the expenses you make planning for the holidays. The last thing you want to do is start the new year off in more debt, so keep January expenses in mind when you’re spending in November and December.
11. Have A Back-Up Plan For Financial Emergencies
If you’re sticking to your holiday budgeting tips but are suddenly hit with an emergency expense, you may be able to face it with a payday advance from Cash Cow. Our payday advance provides you with between $100 and $300 for emergency travel, medical bills, overdue utility bills, or other urgent expenses. If you want to learn more, fill out the online form on our website and the nearest Cash Cow location will give you a call.
Get Your Holiday Budget In Order Today!
Holiday budgeting tips are great for getting the most bang for your buck. This is why it is important for you to have these tips in mind when you are setting up your holiday budget. And if an emergency hits you and threatens to ruin your budget, remember that a payday advance from Cash Cow can help. Fill out the online form to get started on the process.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.